Brian LaBrada



The 15 Best Engagement Photo Ideas + Best Engagement Session Planning Tips and Tricks

Last Updated on April 16, 2023 by Brian LaBrada


When it comes to posing and engagement photo ideas, I know it can be a bit overwhelming. Most couples are a bit nervous and many have never been in front of a camera in a professional setting. While your photographer or whoever is doing your photo shoot should have their own engagement photo poses and ideas, it is a good idea to come to your engagement shoot armed with a few photo ideas of your own.

Let’s take a look at some excellent engagement photo shoot ideas, many are my classic poses, a few are modern, and some are just beautiful romantic moments.

How I Pose My Couples

Over the years I’ve refined the posing and directing of my couples to make them look and feel natural. How do I do this? Well, it’s a secret (nah, just kidding), but I do have seven key poses that help us get started and turn into beautiful moments. These are The Walk, The Look Back, The Hold Me, The Hand on Chest, The Head on Chest, The Whisper, and The Lift, which are all my go-to poses to begin with.

Engagement Photo Ideas

The Walk

This is one of my favorites to start the shoot. It helps my couples relax, and get used to the camera.

couple walking picture

The Look Back

From The Walk I have the bride and groom walk ahead of each other, then look back. Always a cute photo.

engagement session couple

The Hold Me

This is a great pose, we can move into many different poses from these starting points.

engaged couple taking photos

The Hand On Chest

This is a great way to get nice and close and also show off your engagement ring.

engaged couple photo

The Head on Chest

This is a combination of Hold Me with the bride’s head on her partner’s shoulder or chest.

The Whisper

Like the hand on the chest, have your partner whisper sweet nothings (or naughty nothings) into your ear. Her reaction usually tells me what kind of “nothings” were whispered.

couple in cocktail attire taking pictures

The Lift

I saved one of the bests for last. I typically leave this for the end of the shoot. I love when my grooms pick up their brides-to-be and have a romantic smooch. 🙂 Don’t worry, we never get it on the first try. We just keep trying until we get “the shot”.

engaged couple

8 Best Tips and Tricks for Engagement Session Planning

1. Set a Date, Time, and Location


I leave the date entirely up to my clients but there are a couple of things to remember. If you are sending out “Save-the-Dates”, you usually want to send them out 7-9 months before the wedding. Many of my clients like to have their session in a season different than their wedding. Getting married in the Summer, let’s do a Fall or Winter engagement session.  


I love soft ethereal glowing light so when it’s time to capture your engagement photos I love to shoot about 1.5 hours before sunset (golden hour). The times will differ depending on the time of year but this will give us the softest, glowiest (is that a word) most flattering perfect light. 🙂 


I love when my clients choose a location that is special to them. Maybe it’s your favorite hiking trail, your go-to coffee shop, or maybe it’s the beach cafe you met at on your first date. If you don’t have any place in particular, don’t worry, I have plenty of suggestions and favorite spots. 

2. Review My Engagement Session Style Guide

My clients receive a style guide with shopping tips, posing tips, wardrobe ideas, and much more to help them get ready for their engagement session. In general, I recommend 2 outfits. Remember to “Dress to impress”. Choose outfits that reflect your personal style and make you feel comfortable and confident. My preference is light and soft hues, pastels, or neutrals for one outfit, and maybe something in cool shades or a little bolder for the other outfit.

Coordinate your outfits to complement each other, but don’t match completely. Avoid wearing clothes with loud patterns, busy prints, or logos. Let’s keep in mind that these are photos that you will cherish forever so we want to look at least 2-3 notches above our regular everyday look.

3. Schedule your Hair and Makeup Appointments


This is the extra fun part! Your engagement pictures offer the perfect time to have your hair and make-up trial. Some brides do a little more glam look for their engagement session than their wedding hair and make-up. But that is completely up to you. 


Get a haircut 2-3 days before your engagement session. If you have facial hair be sure to trim and line up any edges. 

4. Get Your Engagement Ring Cleaned

Be sure to get your ring cleaned. We will take close-up shots of your hands and engagement ring so you’ll want to ensure it is nice and sparkly. Also, since we will be shooting at the golden hour, engagement rings always seem to glow and sparkle no matter the gem.

5. Get Your Nails Done:

Be sure to get a relaxing mani-pedi. As I mentioned above, we will be photographing your hands up close. Make sure your partner’s hands are presentable too. 

6. Pack a Bag for your Shoot. What to Include: 

  • Make-up for touch-ups
  • Flips flops or slip-on shoes to walk to the shoot location
  • Money for Parking
  • Bottles of water
  • Change of clothes
  • Large towel in case you have to change wardrobe on location
  • Accessories for wardrobe
  • Coat/Jacket in case it gets cold
  • Hairbrush for touch-ups  

7. Get plenty of rest: 

Ensure you get plenty of rest the night before the photoshoot, so you look fresh and energetic in the photos. 

8. Have a Date Night!

Since you two are already dressed up and glammed up, plan on a romantic dinner at a nearby spot. Have fun! 🙂


There you have it, some of my go-to and favorite beginning poses and engagement photo shoots ideas. I hope my engagement planning tips were helpful too. Remember, the better your engagement shoot goes, the better your wedding photography will be. One of my favorite parts with my couples is their engagement session. We have fun, it’s less formal, it’s relaxed, and we always love the photos you’ve created.


What colors look best in engagement photos?

I recommend light and soft hues, pastels, or neutrals for one outfit, and maybe something in cool shades or a little bolder for the other. Make sure you coordinate your outfits so that they complement each other, but don’t match completely. Avoid wearing clothes with loud patterns, busy prints, or logos.

What should he wear for engagement photos?

Start by considering the location and season of the photo shoot. For example, if you’re taking photos in the park during the fall, a cozy sweater and boots would be a great option. If you’re taking photos at the beach or by beautiful architecture a classic dress or blazer paired with crisp pants will always be fashionable. Most importantly, choose something you feel comfortable and confident in, and don’t be afraid to add your own personal touch.

When should couples take engagement photos?

While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, it’s recommended to take them about six to eight months before your wedding day. This gives you plenty of time to select your favorite photos for save-the-dates, wedding websites or to display at your reception. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to get comfortable in front of the camera and get to know your photographer before the big day. However, if you’re planning a shorter engagement, don’t fret! You can still take photos, just adjust your timing accordingly. Just remember, the best time to take those pictures is when you’re both happy, in love, feeling confident, and excited to get married!

What should I avoid in engagement photos?

For starters, stick to clothing that you feel comfortable in instead of trying to force a certain aesthetic. Another tip is to avoid wearing clothing with logos or busy patterns as they can be distracting in photos. Additionally, try not to overdo it on the makeup or hairstyle – you want to look like the best version of yourself, not a completely different person. And finally, try to avoid overly posed shots as they can come off as stiff and unnatural. Instead, focus on having fun and capturing the natural chemistry between you and your partner.

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